Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar defended Akhilesh Yadav's comments on Jinnah
Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar on Wednesday said there would have been no partition had Mohammad Ali Jinnah been made the first prime minister, adding to the row on a remark by Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav.
Mr Rajbhar made the assertion, in the wake of his poll ally Mr Yadav talking of Jinnah in the same breath as Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru as freedom fighters, triggering criticism from BJP leaders, including UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
"Had Jinnah been made the first prime minister, the partition of the country would not have happened," Mr Rajbhar told reporters in Varanasi.
On BJP leaders' criticism of Mr Yadav's remark on Jinnah, Mr Rajbhar asserted, "Read Advani Ji's views, read Atal Ji's views, read the views of country's other well-wishers on the prospect of Jinnah having been made the PM. Why did they praise him?"
Mr Rajbhar was apparently referring to purported statements of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Deputy PM LK Advani on Jinnah in the past.
Mr Yadav had made the remark apparently equating Pakistan fonder Jinnah with Gandhi and Nehru while lavishing praise on Patel on his 146th birth anniversary on October 31, raising many eyebrows.
Addressing a public meeting in Hardoi, the Samajwadi Party leader had said, "Sardar Patel understood the ground and he made decisions accordingly. Hence, he is also known as Iron Man."
"Sardar Patel, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute and became barristers. They helped (India) get freedom and never backed away from any struggle," he had said.
Mr Yadav had also referred to the ban imposed on the RSS by Patel, the then home minister, following the assassination of Gandhi in 1948, saying only he could do it.
Reacting to Mr Yadav's statement on Jinnah, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi had said Jinnah was considered a villain in the country and those who are trying to use his name will not get any benefit.